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Family law: can we both go to the same lawyer if we have an agreement?

The short answer is no.

It’s unusual in law to have such a definitive answer about a question however it is clear that as family lawyers we can only act for one party in a family law matters.


If parties have reached an agreement there is no need for both parties to have Lawyers if they want to enter into consent orders for parenting or property matters. In fact for consent orders there is no need for Lawyers at all, parties can prepare these orders on their own and send them to the court to be approved.

However, there is a significant value in having Lawyers involved in drafting consent orders to ensure it is done correctly and accurately.

In the 2019 financial year they were 1879 Applications for Consent Orders filed in the Family Court of Australia (these could be for property and parenting or property or parenting), 86% of those applications involved lawyers acting for both parties or one party.

This shows that the skill, advice and value that Lawyers bring in finalising family law matters is important in getting documents approved by the court and finalising matters in a way that allows parties to reach a resolution and move on with their lives

Joelene Nel is an Associate Director Family Lawyer at McLaughlins Lawyers. She is also a Collaborative Lawyer, Nationally Accredited Mediator and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.

If you would like advice about your family law matter, you can contact Joelene on (07) 5591 5099.

McLaughlins Lawyers, your experienced Gold Coast lawyers, we stand beside you and are here to help you when you need us.


Author: Joelene Nel

Director: Sophie Pearson

Date: 18 May 2020